French-led Force Commander’s reserve gets new commander
The command of UNIFIL’s French-led Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR) changed from Colonel Bastian Dufilhol to Colonel Olivier Baudet during a ceremony at the Reserve’s main base in Dayr Kifa on Monday.
With the change in command, Colonel Baudet, the Commander of the First French Foreign Legion Armored Recce Regiment, also serves as the French National Contingent Commander within UNIFIL.
Senior UNIFIL officials, including Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary, were present on the occasion.
The Force Commander’s Reserve, which has 750 French and Finnish peacekeepers, is UNIFIL’s quick reaction force. It is the operational reserve at the Force Commander’s disposal, able to act in the whole area of operations (AO). Besides conducting regular patrols and other operational activities, FCR peacekeepers also participate in air and ground surveillance within the AO, including radar and anti-aircraft defenses, and provide training for the Lebanese Armed Forces.
French soldiers have a long history with UNIFIL. They were among the first peacekeepers to arrive in south Lebanon – just four days after the establishment of UNIFIL in March 1978. They were also among the first to deploy after UNIFIL troops number was increased substantially following the 2006 war.